Creative Thought: An Investigation of Conceptual Structures and Processes

Pages: 567
Item #: 4318581
ISBN: 978-1-55798-906-2
List Price: $14.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $14.95
Copyright: 1997
Format: Softcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

Creativity is a powerful and elusive force. It brings about scientific, technological, and artistic accomplishment, and it allows us to adapt to changes in our lives, to solve problems, and to resolve conflicts. Little wonder, then, that cognitive psychologists have long been fascinated by the mysteries of creative thought: Where do people get new ideas? How are they inspired to make new discoveries? How is old knowledge mapped onto novel situations, and how are old, mistaken ways of thinking replaced by innovative perspectives?

Creative Thought examines these questions in light of the most important new research on the nature of creativity, with an emphasis on its generative aspects—that is, on how old concepts are used to generate new ideas. This is a unique focus, since most works on creativity have emphasized its receptive aspects. The chapters cover four major areas of study: conceptual combination, conceptual expansion, metaphor, and analogy.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors


  1. Conceptual Structures and Processes in Creative Thought
    —Thomas B. Ward, Steven M. Smith, and Jyotsna Vaid

I. Conceptual Combination

  1. Thematic Relations and the Creation of Combined Concepts
    —Edward J. Shoben and Christina L. Gagné
  2. Conceptual Combination: Possibilities and Esthetics
    —Edward J. Wisniewski
  3. Emergent Attributes in Combined Concepts
    —James A. Hampton
  4. The Developmental Emergence of Multiplicative Combinations
    —Friedrich Wilkening, Gudrune Schwarzer, and Annette Rümmele
  5. Coherent and Creative Conceptual Combinations
    —Paul Thagard

II. Conceptual Expansion

  1. Imagination at Work: Conceptual and Linguistic Creativity in Children
    —Cristina Cacciari, Maria Chiara Levorato, and Pirecarla Cicogna
  2. The Creation of New Concepts: A Multifaceted Approach to Category Learning
    —Arthur B. Markman, Takashi Yamauchi, and Valerie S. Makin
  3. Creativity: Shifting Across Ontological Categories Flexibly
    —Michelene T. H. Chi
  4. Polysemy and the Creation of Novel Word Meanings
    —Gregory L. Murphy
  5. Mundane Creativity in Perceptual Symbol Systems
    —LawrenceW. Barsalou and Jesse J. Prinz
  6. Creativity in Personality, Developmental, and Social Psychology: Any Links With Cognitive Psychology?
    —Dean Keith Simonton

III. Metaphor

  1. Metaphor Comprehension: How Metaphors Create New Categories
    —Sam Glucksberg, Deanna Ann Manfredi, and Matthew S. McGlone
  2. How Language Reflects the Embodied Nature of Creative Cognition
    —Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr.
  3. Of "Men" and Metaphors: Shakespeare, Embodiment, and Filing Cabinets
    —Eva Feder Kittay

IV. Analogy and Mental Models

  1. Analogy and Creativity in the Worlds of Johannes Kepler
    —Dedre Gentner, Sarah Brem, Ron Ferguson, Philip Wolff, Arthur B. Markman, and Ken Forbus
  2. How Scientists Think: On-Line Creativity and Conceptual Change in Science
    —Kevin Dunbar
  3. Mental Models, Space, and Embodied Cognition
    —Arthur M. Glenberg
  4. Creativity's Camel: The Role of Analogy in Invention
    —David N. Perkins

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Editor Bios

Thomas B. Ward, PhD, is professor of psychology at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on the nature of concepts, including how they are acquired, structured, and used in creative and noncreative endeavors. Dr. Ward has also conducted basic and applied studies concerned with increasing the innovative potential of new ideas. He is one of the founding members of the Creative Cognition Research Group, has served on the editorial board of Child Development, and currently serves as associate editor of Memory & Cognition.

Steven M. Smith, PhD, is associate professor of psychology at Texas A&M University. He has conducted research on memory blocks and creative thinking blocks since 1979, when he received his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Smith has published three books on creative cognition, including The Creative Cognition Approach, and he is on the editorial board of the Journal of Creative Behavior. Dr. Smith has also investigated conformity and incubation effects in thinking.

Jyotsna Vaid, PhD, is associate professor of psychology at Texas A&M University. The focus of her research is cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of language functioning in bilinguals. Dr. Vaid has published numerous journal articles and a book, Language Processing in Bilinguals (1986), in this area. Her research has also explored language and number processing, and the cognitive processing of humor.